Patients' Attitudes toward Gynecologic Examination and to Gynecologists

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Abstract

A self-administered 'questionnaire exploring attitudes to gynecologic examination and gynecologists was completed by 409 female patients. Contrary to public statements of some consumer groups, overall results revealed predominantly favorable attitudes to both examination and gynecologists. However, a number of specific criticisms were found. Subjects reported problems with component parts of the gynecologic examination. The traditional lithotomy position and breast examination were the most difficult aspects of the examination emotionally. Speculum insertion was the most uncomfortable part physically. Of the respondents, 10.8 per cent never had had a rectal examination. Many subjects were dissatisfied with gynecologists' understanding of women's psychological and sexual problems. The importance of physicians becoming better informed about female psychology and sexuality, and adapting to women's changing needs is discussed.

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